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Umicore’s sustainable cobalt procurement externally validated for the 6th year in a row

Umicore obtained, for the sixth year in a row, third-party assurance from PwC that its cobalt purchases are carried out in line with the conditions set out in its Sustainable Procurement Framework for Cobalt. The various sustainability aspects of the battery supply chain include the conditions under which raw materials are extracted and processed.

We are the first company in the world to have introduced a Sustainable Procurement Framework for Cobalt and to obtain external validation for our ethical procurement approach in this area.

Independent audits and 3rd party validation

To ensure the traceability of materials in our supply chain, we carry out detailed research and risk assessments of our suppliers. This includes visiting plants, screening policies and procedures and, if required, developing improvement programs.

In 2020, Umicore again performed due diligence activities for all its purchased cobalt. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Umicore did  follow-up on mitigation actions defined in the previous year’s audit and obtained third-party assurance from PwC that our 2020 cobalt purchases are carried out in line with the conditions set out in the Framework.

The 2020 Due Diligence Compliance Report for Cobalt Procurement, as well as previous years’ reports are available online.

Setting standards and supporting the industry

For over a century Umicore has been a world leader in cobalt products, used in many applications, from tooling to rechargeable batteries for electric cars. Sustainable procurement is a key driver of Umicore’s strategy to turn sustainability into a greater competitive edge.

Umicore also supports the development of traceability projects across the industry through multiple initiatives. In 2019, the Cobalt Institute launched the Cobalt Industry Responsible Assessment Framework (CIRAF), a management framework which strengthens the ability of cobalt producers and buyers to assess, mitigate, and report on responsible production and sourcing risks in their operations and supply chain. Umicore is reporting on its supply chain using the CIRAF, which we helped develop.